Same Time Next Year

Photo Credit: Timer, iPhone sitting on Bob’s backpack [Top: Vicky, Dave, Bob
Bottom: Cheryl, Terri, Larry, Nancy, Mackenzie]

George Peters says, “I can’t remember the name of your favorite perfume; I’ve racked my brain, and I can’t remember it.” Doris says, “That’s funny, it’s My Sin.” ~ Same Time Next Year

This is the title of a movie starring Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn. It’s a romantic comedy involving two people who accidentally meet at a resort in the middle of a storm and can’t figure out how they ended up in bed together the next morning. 


The problem is they are both married but decide to meet at the same resort every year to continue their illicit affair. It’s a movie, not reality, but the interesting part is how the movie depicts the most notorious events of the 50s, 60s, and 70s through the lives of the characters and how they present to each other year after year. 

It debuted in 1978, the year I graduated high school, and just about every scene is dated and lacks the sophistication of modern filmmaking. But it is considered a classic because it has some redeeming value, and that might be a tactful reference for people my age.

A classic.

My husband refuses to watch the movie on the basis that it glorifies immoral behavior. I pouted but to no avail. Instead, we watched Ozarks and experienced the torture and mutilation of an innocent man for the better part of an hour until he confessed to a crime he never committed. I would have preferred Alan Alda’s corny lines, “Why do you have to look so luminous? I mean, it’d make things so much easier if you woke up with puffy eyes and blotchy skin like everyone else.” The character Doris says, “Guess God thought chubby thighs were enough.”

Ain’t that the truth?

So last weekend, we stayed a few miles from the resort where they filmed Same Time Next Year, and I have to say I’m enamored with this portion of the California coastline.  

My cousin Vicky and her husband Dave reside in Texas, and every year during the months of July and August, they get out of dodge, so to speak, and head to the coast. Do you blame them?

Clearlake is also experiencing a bout of over a hundred-degree temps, and we decided to join our cousins during their stay along the Mendocino coast for a mini-reunion with old friends Terri and Bob, along with my sister Nancy and her daughter Mackenzie. 

Our adventures were not as erotic as Allan and Ellen’s affair but worthy of retelling, especially if I focus on the more notorious aspects of our escapades. Well, maybe not notorious, but a smidgen above common.

We did the usual, stuffed ourselves with bowls of steamy clam chowder, sourdough bread, fresh crab, homegrown tomatoes, and mozzarella, paired with local wines, dark chocolate, and dessert empanadas. Not bad…for our first night.

The morning found us hiking along the cliffs of Mendicino and browsing the shops and galleries of this quaint little town. Larry and I are staying at the Hilltop Inn. It’s within walking distance to town, with impressive coastal views, but it’s haunted. Always something.

I have to say, back in the day, it was an elegant hotel, with a wall of pictures in the now barren lobby depicting a slew of famous and wealthy guests. Today it is a shadow of its former self, dilapidated, and because it’s positioned right next to a graveyard, there is no lack of ghosts to amuse the guests. 

I personally did not feel any unfriendly spirits but had to deal with rock-hard pillows, no bedspread, and just one blanket. There were holes in the curtains, and the decor was extremely dated, but hey, maybe the prospect of seeing an actual ghost is appealing to some people. Just not me. I avoided all mirrors where it is said they like to appear.

After our hike along the coast, we headed to Pacific Star Winery, twelve miles north of Fort Bragg, perched on the bluffs above the ocean. This is a preeminent experience. We happened to visit on one of those rare days with clear skies and a calm ocean. In fact, we saw a few whales frolicking in the water, not fifty feet from where we sat. We snagged a picnic table, laid out our cheeses, salami, apples, and crackers, and enjoyed a few glasses of Pacific Star’s elegant wines. 

It doesn’t get better than this. 

Inside the winery is a handcrafted polished slab of redwood that serves as a tasting room bar. There is a fault line that runs just below the winery, and with a swale of paint, Robert Minuzzo, an artist out of Napa, replicated the faultline across the tasting room floor. I love that.

“When the fault was discovered, it confirmed my feeling that there was something extremely unique about this place,” says Sally Ottoson, owner, and head winemaker. 

Larry and I head back to the haunted hotel for an afternoon nap with the ghosts before joining everyone else for dinner. 

By Sunday, only Vicky and Dave remained (not that anyone expired, the others simply had to head home), so Larry and I put some distance between us and the ghosts and moved in with the Gino’s. 

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” Henry David Thoreau

Our plan for today is ocean kayaking off Van Damme State Park near the town of Little River. Yeah, I thought it was overly ambitious too, but I believe it was Larry who said, “the ocean is like glass today.”

I suppose it’s a matter of perspective?

The brightly colored kayaks are lined up along the shore, and after a few minutes of instruction and disbursement of lifevests, we were instructed to board the kayaks and paddle over to a nearby cove for our guided tour. 

Seems easy enough.

Well, first, there are the waves to contend with, then there’s the weight of the occupants and the instability of hollow plastic kayaks in general. Larry tells me to slip in the front of the tandem kayak just as the first wave washes over me, and my entire body is assaulted by freezing cold salt water. Great start. After wave number two washes over me, I’m reevaluating the lucidity of such mischief and my entire relationship with the guy whose shorts are still dry.

Vicky also soaked to the bone, says, “Glass my ass!”

We finally got off the sand and into the open ocean, meeting at the rendezvous along with a dozen other kayakers. The guides took us through ocean caves that took thousands of years to create, we glided along the stunning coastline and into calm inlets where we could rest our weary arms. 

I was completely and utterly enthralled, forgot all about my frozen bits, and did a worthy rendition of Fool on a Hill in the cathedral cave. The scenery defies description, the current might be treacherous, but the water is so clear in some areas you can see schools of starfish clinging to the rock. 

Sees the sun going down

And the eyes in his head

See the world spinning around

You can stop holding your breath. We all made it back to the shore, wet and cold but in one piece. We headed directly to the cottage, the one equipped with a generous hot tub overlooking the ocean and a healthy stock of chilled white wine. 

Magnificent is a word that comes to mind.

Our final day together found us hiking in Narrvaro River Redwoods State Park before enjoying a few of the Anderson Valley Wineries. Afterwhich, Vicky and Dave headed back to the coast while Larry and I landed at the lake house for a night until the same time next year.

I have to say I’m sort of enamored with those lines from the movie where George says, “You always could see through me, couldn’t you?” And Doris responds, “But that’s okay, because… I’ve always loved what I’ve seen.” As opposed to Marty Byrde, who says, “The satisfying sound of your lover smacking the pavement is the only thing that gets me to sleep at night.” 

Sweet dreams…

I’m Living in the Gap, floating on good memories, how’s your week going?


Leave a Comment

  1. I have been wanting to visit there since I wrote an article for a trade magazine that included the Brewery Gulch Inn in Mendocino. I have kayaked in Alaska and British Columbia, but there weren’t any waves. Also, they were single, not tandem kayaks! I loved your video.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When you get the chance you have to visit Mendocino, it’s an extraordinary stretch of coastline. Next time we’ll have to check out the Brewery Gulch Inn! Ocean Kayaking was quite the experience. I would opt for a lake or mild river next time. So Glad you enjoyed the video! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good old (fashioned) places and entertainment I remember so well, though my experience in Little River and Mendocino are very nearly the polar opposite of yours. Even though I was much younger, I was never as adventurous as you. Looking back, the friend I went there with was, but knew better than to even attempt to get me out on the ocean at the time. Funny, now that we’re both older, I think our roles and abilities have flipped!
        STNY is one of my favorite movies! It’s one of those that never fails to make me cry. It’s theme song, “Hello”, sung by Jane Olivor, pulls at my heartstrings even more as I believe it rolls over the closing credits.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Mendocino is such an enchanting place, I’m mesmerized by the coastline, the waves, whales, and now wineries! It’s interesting that you feel braver or more adventurous now that you’re older. I do too! I’m not going to do anything crazy but I’m open to trying new things that I wouldn’t have considered a couple of decades ago. I figure it’s now or never literally! Floating on the surface of the ocean was extraordinary. I would have never done this without a guide. I would not have paddled into dark caves and through powerful surf on my own. I love Jane Olivor, I saw her in concert once at the Mountain Winery in the Bay Area with a girlfriend. And that song ~ total tearjerker! Hugs, C

          Liked by 1 person

  2. The moral code of what we will and won’t watch is interesting to me. Even what we read. For one of my book clubs we read a book where maybe half of the characters where having adulterous relationships. Only two of us are married, and we were both a little jarred by the casualness of the affairs while the single women were unphased

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you might be on to something here LA. The moral code of what we will and won’t watch ~ that could be an interesting post for you. Love to read what your followers would do with that one! Although not easily offended, I do find some literature and movies rather dissonant, but I do not need to approve or disapprove of a character’s morality to enjoy a movie. Everyone is different I suppose. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Cheryl, we love this movie. We especially love how Ellen Burstyn’s character has different personas based on the times. It was a very funny play before it was made into a movie and the casting was terrific. Alan Alda was the ideal guy for the role to match Burstyn’s talent. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel much the same Keith. This is one of my favorites. I loved the chemistry between Ellen and Allen, and like you I most enjoyed watching how the characters developed and changed from their various experiences while they were apart. I imagine the play was quite entertaining! My favorite thing was seeing the actual resort and cabins where they filmed the movie. It’s an extremely charming establishment. Hugs, C


    1. Hi Dorothy, well it appears we’re fans of the same movie, adventure, and maybe even ghosts. I don’t think we’ll return to Hill House, it was a last minute decision to join my cousins and that was the only place with rooms available. Now we know why. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cheryl what a wonderful getaway! I was amazed by how strong the waves were in your video. Thinking I would have been scared. The hotel sounds quirky and glad you didn’t have any ghoulish visitors. Now the wine tastings would have been my favorite 🍷. Always love reading about your adventures. Best Wishes! Leigh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leigh, it was wonderful! There’s something about the coast that’s alarmingly attractive to me. It did get a little scary out in the ocean, even the guide stopped us for a while in a cove to let the waves calm down, but it was all worth it. The rock caves were spectacular. And to be fair, I did not know the hotel was haunted until after the first night when I read about it on line. I may have chosen different accommodations had I known. Maybe the wine tasting helped with the sleep! Thanks for tagging along with me, hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a fun get-away and the cool weather along the coast was such a relief from the oppressive inland heat. There is nothing better than needing a sweatshirt at night in my opinion! Same Time Next Year is an old movie but the way they depict the history of the time through the characters is brilliant. And the scenery is rather spectacular. Thanks for reading. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Illicit or not, I’m a sucker for a love story. And I love the sound of steamy clam chowder, sourdough bread, fresh crab, homegrown tomatoes, mozzarella…and ocean kayaks, but those tides. A little Yikes! A little exhilarating!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am too Crystal, and you throw in the ocean, a scandalous love affair, and good music. Damn, I’m hooked. Every once in a while you need to overindulge and we did just that. The rich food, plentiful wines, and exhilarating kayak rides was enough to ruffle all the senses. We’ll be back, same time next year, join us! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, what a getaway! Sounds wonderful–except for maybe the freezing waves. I’ve only kayaked a couple times and never with crashing waves. I like a lake for that! But hot tub and a chilled white–yes, please. Glad you’re enjoying the season in style!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rebecca, just when I thought we’d never escape the inland heat, we landed at the coast. It was crashing waves, freezing water, cool evenings, and romantic fog! The ghosts were a total bonus! “Hot tubs and chilled wine,” might have been a better title! Thanks for joining me in the comments. Hugs, C


  7. I love living vicariously through your exciting adventures Cheryl. I might have been scared in that hotel room though, lol. And who doesn’t love Same Time Next Year? Yes! It’s a classic! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My husband is definitely a type A and now that he’s retired he spends all his free time searching out new adventures and somehow convinces me to go along. He was in sales! Enough said. I’m hoping the first year is just a phase for him and next year he’ll slow down to a reasonable pace. We can only pray! Thanks for joining me, it feels safer even if it is vicarious! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “Glass, my ass.” That one got a laugh out of me, Cheryl. Looks like a wonderful getaway despite the soaking seas. Too bad you didn’t see any ghosts though. Now that would have been a thrill. I really liked that movie, despite its “immorality.” Funny how sex is considered indecent, but torture and murder are perfectly acceptable. (I won’t start on that rant. Lol). Glad you had so much fun at the coast. Hope your training is going well for your hiking adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The thing that I’m noticing about adventures is regardless of what it looks like at the onset, it is never what it’s really about. The kayaking started out rough, cold, daunting but as we moved into the experience it was so much more than I ever expected. By the time we were heading back to the shore I was oozing with gratitude and I didn’t want it to end. I suppose that pretty much sums up our entire lives, from birth to death. And speaking of death, I’m not sure I wanted to encounter a ghost. I mean what do you say to a person posthumous? I would have loved to hear your rant! Sex, murder, and mayhem! You might need to blog about that! I have to say the training is going well but my appetite is ferocious. Hugs, C


    1. Larry’s idea of retirement is go, go, go. My idea is slow mornings, lots of coffee, and time to write but somehow we’re managing with minimal conflict. It’s an odd thing to have worked your entire life and then suddenly have nowhere to go and no obligations that are time sensitive. We’re both still marveling at all the freedom. It’s strange that we never talked about retirement until it was on top of us? It does still feel as if we’re on an extended vacation. Hugs, C


  9. “My husband refuses to watch the movie on the basis that it glorifies immoral behavior. I pouted but to no avail. Instead, we watched Ozarks” LOL

    I know I say this every time, but these posts bring me immense joy and are very entertaining. Okay…going back to read the rest lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy, it thrills me to no end that you are enjoying the blog and find our adventures entertaining, although I would argue Ozarks wins the immoral award! If there’s one thing I’ve learned, this whole retirement thing is not for wimps! Just sayin’ Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

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